As we have seen for the very first time in living memory, the food supply chain is very fragile, and with an ever-growing global population which is predicted to reach 9 billion by 2050, where most people will live in urban areas, this presents a food security issue.
We know that people do not grow their own food even though many could but what if we could bring the farm to the urban areas, reducing carbon footprint, well we can using new technology and even existing buildings indoor farming is growing so to speak and with new advances in hydroponics, LED lighting, sensor arrays, and data analytics it is possible to replicate any traditional farm grown produce.
The digital agriculture revolution is changing and with an almost laboratory style indoor farm the need for chemicals are eliminated making the food grown richer and healthier than ever before and many say that it’s even better than organic growing. The additional benefits are also 24/7, 365 growing without the risks of seasonal issues such as droughts, heat, floods, frost, insect devastation etc, meaning a high growth yield producing maximum benefit.
To put this into prospective a 1000 square foot of indoor farming can produce the same amount of crop as a 5 acre field and yield 100x more than that of conventional farming whilst also eliminating the need for farm machinery and the dependence on heavy water usage, resulting in locally sourced produced cultivated in the local area and producing a delicious and nutritious produce.
Urban farming can also be locally owned by the whole community using tokenomics and blockchain technology.
This model can work by the whole community purchasing digital crypto tokens of which will self-fund the farm initially but also develop local communities by everyone having a share in the farm and using a utility token for the sole purpose of producing local food, employing local people and delivering fresh produce picked just hours before, this is a true new ecosystem of which can benefit everyone and bringing a true meaning to a smart city.
So let’s explore several examples, many cities have tall buildings of which two floors could be dedicated to urban indoor farming because of how hydroponics works produce can be stacked, whereas traditional farming the crop is grown in the ground so you are in effect getting 6 or even 8 times the crop per square meter, the controlled environment means the growth of the produce is increased as we know to grow a root vegetable we require light and water but we don’t need the sun as plants only require 2 spectrums to grow from the sun’s rays and not the full spectrum and this is why you will see many vertical farm set up’s using a purple LED light and a rotational system, the water can be recycled greatly reducing the dependence on the supply.
Another example is disused underground tunnels can be converted into an indoor farm whilst using these tunnels as service ducts a farm can produce food products in the same way, a project in London is already doing so.
So in reality we can now replicate a farm anywhere in the world regardless of the outside climate, this might be in places like UAE where traditional farming is impossible or in dense areas such as Singapore where a large filed farm is just not possible, the opportunities of growth are endless but the true benefits are as we have already described a more nutritious food product with an absolute minimum carbon foot print grown locally by local people owned by the community.
The future is actually here today, and the growth industry of urban farming is certainly doing just that growing.